Friday, December 04, 2009

Susan Dunn's Favorite Communication Operating Principles


Favorite Communication Operating Principles
by Susan Dunn

Virginia Sapir, a psychologist and pioneer in family counseling, wrote: "Once a human being has arrived on this earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him."

With this in mind, I present some my favorite Communication Operating Principals.

1. "In order to understand what another person is saying you must assume it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of."
~ George Miller ~

2. "The first law of communication is: Assume you have been misunderstood."
~ Source Unknown ~

3. "Men can take up to 7 hours longer [than women] to process complex emotive data. [They] will not know what they feel at the moment of feeling and will take longer to figure it out. [They] may not be able to put their feelings in words - if they choose a verbal strategy at all."
~Michael Gurian, author of "What Could He Be Thinking" ~

4. "Verbal confrontation is as natural to men as walking or breathing, and as unconscious."
~ Suzette Haden Elgin, author of "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" ~

5. "There is a libraryful of research to indicate that logic is almost useless as a way of convincing people of anything."
~ Suzette Haden Elgin ~

6. "Never use Hedges ('I know you'd never let me, but . '). They are exactly equivalent to wearing a big sign that say 'Please kick me - I would love to be a victim.'"
~ Suzette Haden Elgin ~

7. "If a man truly wants to communicate with his wife, he must enter her world of emotions."
~ Gary Smalley ~

8. "For parlor use, the vague generality is a life saver."
~ George Ade ~

9. "The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said."
~ Peter Drucker ~

10. "Sympathetic people often don't communicate well. They * back reflected images which hide their own depths."
~ George Eliot ~

11. "If you can always be taken by surprise because you have no idea what verbal aggression is or how to spot it, you are an ideal target."
~ Suzette Haden Elgin ~

12. "The genius of communication is the ability to be both totally honest and totally kind at the same time."
~ John Powell ~

Whether we're communicating at work, socially, or in an intimate relationship, and whether we're communicating thoughts or feelings, it's a strategy, a choice we make in an effort to accomplish something. And, it's good to remember - if you're there, you're communicating SOMETHING, whether you mean to or not.

Interpersonal skills are part of emotional intelligence and can be learned. Become aware of your communication style and work to improve it.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What's a Social Skill?


A social skill is any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others. Social rules and relations are created, communicated, and changed in verbal and nonverbal ways. The process of learning such skills is called socialization.

aka Emotional Intelligence

From some source, I know not what:

10 Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

1. Smile.
2. Be appreciative.
3. Pay attention to others.
4. Practice active listening.
5. Bring people together.
6. Resolve conflicts.
7. Communicate clearly.
8. Use humor.
9. See it from their side.
10. Don't whine.

Sounds good to me! Want to improve your EQ? Take THE EQ COURSE.

Better yet, become a certified EQ coach and train others. My course is highly-rated, on the Internet, interactive and includes coaching sessions with me. Email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc for more information. I have trained and certified coaches internationally.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

What REALLY Makes People Change

In “Getting Emotional about Social Marketing: Why and How People Change Behaviour” they argued that “fear and facts” did not create change; ingrained habits were more likely to respond to an emotional connection with another human being or community. See the full article HERE.

This is something that constantly comes up in relationships - personal relationships, work relationships, relationships like counseling and therapy. We have all been lectured "at" too much. We immediately set up barriers when someone is trying to intimidate or scare us.

What works? An emotional connection with another human being, and that means having emotional intelligence.

Want to learn more? Take my EQ Course. It's on the Internet, interactive, and you can include coaching for exponential growth. Email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc .


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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts


Everyone's going to be hiring a coach in January, when it's time for New Year's Resolutions. I can get you trained, certified and ready to go by January 1. email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc. My training program is long distance, by phone, Internet courses and email.

THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
~George Herbert

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. ~H.U. Westermayer


If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow. ~Edward Sandford Martin


Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thanksgiving Etiquette


Thanksgiving Day Etiquette

The days of dining by plucking fruit from trees and roasting
small animals over the fire, eating with fingers, and perhaps
fighting with others over the scraps are long gone. Or are they?

More and more we swing our car through the drive-in, grab our
food from the window, and proceed to eat with our fingers, so
perhaps you need a brush-up on the basics of formal - shall we
say "civilized" dining - before the great Thanksgiving feast.

Rules of civilized dining evolved because, according to
Margaret Visser ("Rituals of Dinner"), "animals are slaughtered
and consumed, the guest-host relationship is ... a complicated
interweaving of the imposition of obligation and the suspension
of hostility, and the ordinary table knife is related to actual
weapons of war."

Utensils were to be handled delicately, so as not to alarm. For
instance, the knife was not to be held in the fist, like a
weapon, nor pointed threateningly at anyone, and conversation
was to be gentle, not provocative.

Now for a review of the basics on how to be the consummate
Thanksgiving guest.

1. Respect time.

Arrive on time with a smile on your face and plan to have a
good time. Leave on time. If it hasn't been stated, you will
have to use your EQ--your intuition. Watch the host (generis)
for subtle cues - the more formal the occasion, the more subtle
the cues, i.e., changing position in his chair, sighing, and
talking about "what a big day we have tomorrow." As you say you
must leave, expect protesting, and expect to leave anyway. It's
a "formality."

As our visits in the homes of others become more rare, the #1
complaint of hostesses seems to be that the guests won't go
home. One woman told me her guests arrived at noon and had to be
jettisoned, finally, at 10 p.m. That's not a get-together,
that's an ordeal.

2. Wear your uniform. Do your job.

Yes, as the guest you have responsibilities. Dress
appropriately and festively, and prepare to make it a happy
occasion. Note "make." It doesn't just happen; those in
attendance must make it happen. Eat, drink and behave in
moderation.

3. When summoned, obey the summons.

As a long-time PR person, you can't imagine how we appreciate
the "leader type" who, when we say, "It's time to take you
seats," heads for the dining room and beckons her friends to
come along; and when the hostess says, "Shall we retire to the
living room for coffee," does the same.

4. Observe protocol.

Age before rank. "Special" people would be the
great-grandmother, then if you've invited your boss, or there's
a guest of honor. The most special person "sitteth on the right
hand" of the host and hostess, who are seated at opposite ends
of the table. If there are not place cards, it's appropriate to
ask, "Where would you like us to sit?"

5. Once seated, stay awake!

Look to your hostess to lead. At this meal even the most
unsuspecting people will say a grace, for instance. The hostess
will indicate when to start passing things, and when she starts
to eat, you may eat. Facilitate the meal for others - start
passing the shared items, the salt and pepper (both), the
butter, the cranberry sauce, and the gravy.

6. The passing of things.

If your plates are served, then when someone asks for the salt,
pick up both the salt and pepper and place them down beside the
person next to you. They are not passed hand-to-hand, and only
the requesting party may use them. Inefficient? Manners are not
about efficiency.

7. Make conversation.

It's an active thing! At a smaller seating, there may be one
general conversation; in a larger group, talk with the people
across from you and on either side of you. If you're
conversation-challenged, work with your coach and come up with a
list of conversation-starters, i.e., Did you see that great
special on PBS last night? What are your plans for Christmas
this year? How was the traffic at the airport? What football
team are you rooting for? Start training your children young.
Help them come up with a list of things to talk about. They'll
love it and feel included.

Your hostess will appreciate if you keep the conversation
going, spend some time with the shy people or the octogenarian,
and help with awkward silences. At formal dinners, businesses
lunches and other dining occasions traditionally when the food
is served, everyone starts eating and there's a silence. Someone
needs to "break the ice." Plan for this and be prepared with a
confident and cheery, "It sure gets quiet when the food comes,"
or "Marcella, where did you find fresh arugula this time of
year?"

8. What about all those utensils and glasses?

The general rule is work from the outside in. Go here to
review:
http://www.cuisinenet.com/digest/custom/etiquette/manners_intro.shtml

9. Beginnings and endings.

The napkin. When you're seated, place your napkin in your lap.
When you're finished, place your utensils on your plate; don't
push it away. Place your napkin loosely to the side of your
plate.

10. Odds 'n' Ends

Sit upward in your chair; don't lean back. Don't rest your
elbows on the table. It's permissible to lean forward slightly
and rest part of your upper arm on the table. If you take
medication, do it discretely and neither mention it nor notice
it in others. Something in your mouth you don't want? The way in
is the way out. Spit the olive pit into your palm and place it
on your plate. Deposit the turkey bone back on the fork and
place in on your plate.

What can you eat with your fingers? Artichokes, plain
asparagus, bacon, bread, cookies, corn on the cob, chips, French
Fries, hors' d'oeuvres, sandwiches, small fruits, berries, and
cubed cheese. When in doubt, wait and see what your hostess
does.

And ... while it's important children learn etiquette, it's
also important they enjoy themselves. The gravy will come out of
the shirt when you wash it - or plan clothes where it doesn't
matter so much.

About the Author: Susan Dunn, personal life coach on all
matters, http://www.susandunn.cc sdunn@susandunn.cc. Personal
coaching, business, Internet courses and ebooks.Creator of the
Difficult People course (prepare now for holidays)-
http://tinyurl.com/2xr3yg Coach cert prorgram, global. Email for
free mini-session.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spirituality in Healing and Medicine

The emotion associated with heart attack is hostility.

I love this video. It makes so many important points.
The doctor says that the side-effects of Prolexa are the same symptoms for which it is prescribed.
He talks about a medical school course called the healing art ... and the healing power of Love. Well, call it unconditional positive regard.
He mentions Little Miss Sunshine --- listen to what Olive says. (It is her presence.)
Focus on one and it becomes still. We see things as they truly are. (Clear the clutter)
To see the cow in the snowball, be still. "Then you can connect with the beaty."
Some of the most powerful influences on health.
Spirituality in medicine ... touch on that which is somewhat fearful.
There's your absolute; there's my absolute.



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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Romantic Love is a Drive

Oh the pain, oh the suffering of love
Romantic love ...

Some quotes:
Plato: "The God of Love lives in a state of need."
She wants the medical and the legal communities to understand this.
Ethologists know that animals have preferences
Animal attraction can be instant
There is love at first sight
Brain center of intense romantic love still become active after 25 years
Why one person rather than another?
There will always be magic to love



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What you MUST Know if You're Taking a Cruise


What You MUST Know If You’re Taking a Cruise (and boy are the rates going down now!)
Author: Susan Dunn, Personal and Professional Development Coach

Being a coach, I speak on cruises. I took my first cruise about 8 years ago. I asked a friend who’d cruised a lot what I needed to know and she said, "Nothing. Just have fun." I disagree. Having cruised many times since then, I’d like to pass on some tips to help you enjoy your cruise more.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medicare doesn’t cover expenses incurred outside the US. Many insurance plans provide little or no coverage for international or out-of-network travel medical expenses. Find out about yours before you go. Then fill in the gaps with travel insurance.

The most expensive thing can be what's called "medi-vac" - say like taking you by helicopter from Belize to the US, or flying you (and you must have a nurse attendant) first-class on a plane back to the US.

Also investigate:
1.Insurance to cover cancellations and interruptions, and cost of delayed or lost baggage

2.Financial Default Coverage for financial failure of airline, cruise line or tour operator

3.Terrorism Coverage for reimbursement if you cancel trip due to terrorist incident in departure city or itinerary city

4.Medical Evacuation Coverage, Medical Reunion and Return of Mortal Remains, all of which can be very costly.

PACKING

Pack the "little" things because the lack of them gets "big" on a trip. Ear plugs, aspirin, hang-nail clippers, bandages or Neosporin will cost you 5 times as much and also waste hours of pleasure time while you search for them.

Take along a small basic first-aid kit and comfort kit. This should include something like DEET unless you fancy Dengue fever or such. Yes, the ship has an infirmary, but it’s a long trip down there, and an expensive one. Yes, these articles will be available in most ports, but the prices are really jacked up and -- again -- it's about time.

Think of things you use over a week’s time: antihistimine, eyedrops, lotion, aloe Vera, anti-diarrhea medication, hair dryer, needle and thread.

If it’s important to you, bring it. The last cruise I was on supplied numerous toiletries, but no hair dryer.

WARDROBE

Formal night! It’s the reason some cruise. It’s the reason some won’t.

Let me set your mind at ease. If you don’t want to go to formal night, you can avoid it. Most cruises have a casual buffet option with delicious food every night, 24 hour hot dogs and pizza, and 24 hour room service.

If you want to participate in formal night, tux rental is available – http://www.cruiselineformal.com . Most ships keep some inventory onboard, but it’s best to order early. There are usually tailors on board.

What will others be wearing? The last cruise I went on, I saw very few tuxes. What do you see? Everything. Western formal, including the cowboy hat and boots, dark suits, nice slacks and coats. Cocktail dresses for women, pantsuits, prom dresses. Total white zoo suits for men.

The Captain’s Cocktail Party or Reception is another chance to dress, mix and mingle if you like. It is also completely optional. Dress is generally dark suits for men, and cocktail dresses for ladies.

It’s slippery on deck, so bring some good gripping shoes. Don’t try and break in a new pair of shoes on your vacation. Some excursions require a lot of walking, and so does getting around on the ship. You will have forgotten how one good blister on your heel can ruin your vacation.

Day wear is resort casual. No need to spend a fortune on clothes unless you want to. Some cruise lines provide bathrobes, or bring your own for poolside and dining in buffet. Rarely does one see blue jeans for some reason, but anything else goes. Some people who cruise a lot, take along things they are about to get rid of. They wear them one day, then give them away to people at the ports. Then they have an empty suitcase for all the things they buy to bring back.

If you get a sunburn, or if you want protection, bring along a light shirt with long sleeves.

Hot tubs often contain enough bromide to bleach out your bathing suit and also relax the elastic. Bring an old suit, or an inexpensive one if you plan to sit in the hot tub a lot.

LUGGAGE

Between airline, dock and ship, it’s unrealistic to assume nothing will happen to your luggage. Common sense would dictate buying the most sturdy and least expensive baggage you can find, i.e., don’t give a crystal goblet to a toddler and then be "surprised" it gets broken. You'll also have to juggle this conundrum - strict limits to baggage on airlines, just about no limit to baggage on a cruise ship.

PHOTOGRAPHS: AN UNDERUSED OPPORTUNITY

They want to sell photos! Photographers are operating nightly, with various backgrounds (including traditional), black and white as well as color. They are pleased to photograph you as many times, in as many ways, as you like. If you’re in need of a new professional head shot, bring along your suit. (For your own photos, if you should happen not to have your camera you can buy one on the ship or shore - again at a pretty price.

HEALTH

You don’t have to gain 20 lbs. unless you want to. Cruises offer tracks, workout rooms, exercise programs, dancing, lite menus, low-calorie menu options, low-fat desserts, salad bars, and plenty of active excursions ashore, including just plain vigorous walking.

You can also do the thing you do at home to effortlessly increase your activity level. Take the stairs instead of using the elevators. Get up and get your own drinks. Offer to get people seconds at the buffet. Volunteer to go back to the room for forgotten items. If you consider the size of a cruise ship -- up and down as well as lengthwise, it should occur to you how long a walk it might be from your room to the pool. Then to the room to change. Then to the dining room.

Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching, distance learning courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your personal and professional development. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for free ezine. Susan is the author of "How to Get to Present on a Cruise," Become a certified EQ coach. Start tomorrow, no residence requirement.

Susan coaches by phone, email, and in her D. C. office which is conveniently located to all suburbs and the Metro.

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The Erotic Love Letter


Bright Star - first love burns brightest? "Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession."

As someone who coaches people of all ages, and is also a Dating Coach, I would like to say that maybe the last love burns even brighter. Perhaps like a star moving on?

From a kids' astronomy site:

There are several different kinds of stars in the sky. Some are very big. A couple have been found that are 100 to 200 times bigger than the sun. At the end of their lives these large stars can stretch themselves out past the orbit of the planet Uranus.


If you are an older person in love, and feel like you are stretching out past the orbit of the planet Uranus, think of this compared to Keats writing that he felt he was "dissolving."

Keats agreed to teach Fanny Brawne poetry ... and a love affair began. The movie critics have noted that while it is "only words," the movie is "incredibly erotic."

They're having a contest for love letters. I love it because (1) you can enter a hand-written love letter OR (2) a tweet.

Enter and win! Love and win! If you're afraid to love, feel like you're holding back, have a commitment-thing, or just need dating coaching, email me - sdunn@susandunn.cc. I specialized in helping singles over 40 find their True Love. I coach by email, phone, and in my office in the D.C. area.

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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The UNempowered Parent

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The UNempowered Parent

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Brain Cactus for the Brain Coach


Just got this from my sister - a brain cactus for Halloween. Perfect for me since my specialty field is emotional intelligence, aka, Neuroaffective Science.

Yes, Emotional Intelligence is about the triune brain - the reptilian brain, the limbic brain, and the neocortex. The neocortex is the one that has "the left brain" and "the right brain."

How these brains all work together is about balance ... is about wellness ... is about resolving internal conflict ...

Now, one word you've been hearing more about all the time is INTUITION. In fact I talked to a psychiatrist the other day about the topic - how it used to ALWAYS be linked with "female intuition." He sighed and said, "I wish I had it."

Well you hear that GPS is "intuitive" (actually it's more "right brain") and there's ow a perfume, and you name it. But what IS intuition? How do you get it? Does everyone have it? How do you differentiate it from wishful thinking?

It's important that you learn, develop and understand the emotional intelligence competencies, and believe you me, they are misunderstood. Take this clip about "positive thinking" I got in the email bad today:

Beware of too much positive thinking.

Focusing on what you want is great, but ignoring potential downsides will lead to trouble eventually. Most people didn't see the credit crunch coming - certainly not the banks or the government. So every so often, do a 'minesweep' of your plans. Ask yourself "What could go wrong? How can I minimise that risk?"

No! No! That's now what "positive thinking" is. "Learned optimism" is the facilitator of all the EQ competencies, but it isn't "positive thinking" and it isn't what this guy is talking about.

What is it? How can you increase your EQ? Take THE EQ COURSE. It's fascinating. In fact most people call it "the missing piece."

P.S. Learned optimism is about attribution. Want to learn more? email me at sdunn@susandunn.cc . You'll love learning neuroaffective science, learning more about how your brain works, and what to "do" about emotions.

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The UNempowered Parent


Parenting coaching is often about empowering adults, empowering parents to get back in charge, and that's a sad fact.

The article about Astro Boy includes -- "another story about a boy who knows more than the adults around him." And we wonder why the problems with this generation!

I do volunteer work with at-risk teens, and beyond the obvious things you would imagine, I find their parents are often "clueless." More than that, sometimes "helpless and hopeless." Somehow they've lost control and it's gotten out-of-hand. For instance, instead of preventing fights between siblings, or stopping them, they call the cops. Teens -- since the beginning of time -- THINK they do know more than adults, but never until this time-period have we had children's literature that supports this ridiculous notion.

If a kid can't count on the adults in his/her life to guide him/her, then they are truly in never-never land. And usually very anxious. That's waaaaay too much power for a teen.

Brain science tells us that the neocortex, the part of the brain that allows us to THINK -- to problem-solve, to consider consequences, to delay impulses and gratification, to anticipate worst-case scenarios, to plan ahead, to be accountable -- is not fully developed in human beings until early adulthood - in the 20s.

Or put another way -- that part of the brain that keeps us lying awake at night worrying isn't there for teens. (Alert the press!) That's why it's called "the bullet-proof age."

I ask every young teen boy the old thing about 'If Mike Tyson made you that mad would you hit him?' and they jump right on it -- "Yes, for sure I'd hit him." And they go on and on about how they've been insulted, or their Mother's been insulted, and disrespect and all that.

Let's face it - all teens are defiant, rebellious, and oppositional. It's part of growing up. It's important that you maintain your position of authority and guidance so you can be there for your child at this critical juncture.

Do you monitor what your kid reads? What movies they see? That's part of it.

If you need Parenting Coaching, contact me - sdunn@susandunn.cc. It's one of the many types of coaching I do.

Check out the great new website by astrologer Nancy Fenn about zodiac trait sign compatibility. It's about zodiac-traits compatiblity - what sign works best for you and how the relationship will go. It's getting raves: www.zodiac-traits.com.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Can Emotional Intelligence Save Robin?

"Interestingly, this mirrors what is done in the most sophisticated research studies on emotional intelligence and empathy," says writer Jeremy Clyman, in Reel Therapy: Unraveling the Mind Through Film, talking about Robin.

Here's an excerpt from HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER:A CURE FOR NARCISSISM
When the time comes for intimacy with Robin his defenses flare up. A lifetime of doing this over and over again has led to an emotional IQ that is in the tank. Barney knows his own emotions as well as a distant, fourth cousin, twice removed. Here, is where the "cure" begins to surface. Ted attempts to raise the level of his emotional management abilities by teaching him how to identify what emotion is currently being expressed, both in himself and others. As far as others are concerned, the window into emotions is the human face. The better you can read the flashes of facial motions, the better you can mind-read the emotional state. Ted shows Barney pictures of Robin's emotional states, specifically the facial expressions. Interestingly, this mirrors what is done in the most sophisticated research studies on emotional intelligence and empathy.

If you'd like to improve your emotional intelligence (EQ), so it isn't a 4th cousin once removed ;-) contact me. Coaching on-site, in my D. C. office, by telephone, email. Interactive Internet courses available.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Learning EQ online is cheaper and more effective


As you know, my online EQ course was one of the first in the field to be offered. Emotional Intelligence is about common sense, and commen sense would tell you it is more efficient and less costly to take an online course. In this case it is also more effective.

With years of experience in delivering this material on the Internet (with email and phone support available), I KNOW that it works. My coach training and certification program is also totally long-distance.

But for those who doubt ... and maybe the bottom line is CHEAPER. If you're reading for online coaching and learning, and coach training and certification, email me now at sdunn@susandunn.cc .

Now, US Department of Education research shows that not only is online learning less costly it is more effective.

People are already waking up to the fact that they can learn online at a fraction of the cost of traditional means; the next realization is that they might be able to learn better. The U.S. Department of Education, with the help of research organization SRI, just completed a 12-year study on online education that concluded: “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” This is not yet commonly accepted wisdom, but things are changing quickly. What makes me so sure web-based instruction will eclipse more traditional methods? Three things: the web offers rich opportunities for collaborative learning, it allows for almost infinite customization, and it’s cheaper than pulling people into a physical classroom.

link: How Web Technology Is About to Change How We Learn – NYTimes.com




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It's time for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)


Be Aware - It's time for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects about 5% of us severely and perhaps 25% of us more mildly. Women and young adults are more likely to suffer from it.

It’s a form of depression that, according to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), is a real illness with sometimes severe symptoms. It’s worse in January and February, though starts as early as September.

SAD is believed to be caused by melatonin, a sleep-related hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin production increases in the dark, so in the winter, when the days are shorter and darker, production increases, causing symptoms of depression.

SAD is extremely rare for people living within 30 degrees of the Equator, where daylight hours are long and extremely bright.

THE SYMPTOMS?

Sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, depression, social problems, anxiety, loss of libido, mood changes, and a weakened immune system. For complete description, go here: http://www.sada.org.uk/symptoms.htm .

THE CURE?

Light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, so for lighter cases, get outside more, exercise outside, and arrange for more light at work and at home.

Phototherapy has been helpful in more severe cases. A light box can be used that emits very bright light through a filter.

Please check with your personal physician if you think you have SAD.

©Susan Dunn, MA, EQ coaching, http://www.susandunn.cc , mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc . Individual coaching, business programs, EQ Alive! #1 rated program to increase your EQ – simple, no memorizing, it works. Email for information, and free ezine.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Krispy Kreme: A Cautionary Tale

This article about Krispy Kreme, about McDonalds, about investing ... is full of "just plain common sense."

The tragedy of Krispy Kreme

From the article:
Krispy Kreme stock hit a high of about $49 in 2003. Then it started on a long downward spiral, losing about 90% of its value.

This company had problems that had nothing to do with its doughnut recipe. It over-expanded and took on crushing debt. There were allegations of management misconduct. Some franchises went bankrupt. Competition was fierce in the cheap eats category. More people started consuming healthy foods.

The company even got some good press recently, if you want to call it that. A new junk-food craze involves a bacon cheeseburger sandwiched between two Krispy Kremes (Original Glazed). It weighs in at 1,500 calories, give or take a few.

So, taking the common sense investing strategy to its illogical conclusion, what about McDonald’s (MCD)?

You hate it, right? Everybody says they do. Nutritionists condemn it as a major cause of the American obesity crisis. Fat teens have tried to sue it for damages. French farmers demonstrated when it started expanding its presence there. In India, people rioted -- all because of a little fib about what those French fries were fried in.

McDonald’s will announce its latest quarterly earnings on October 22, when it's expected to report earnings of $1.10 per share on revenues of $6.09 billion. The company’s sales grew 4.5% last year.

... the common sense investing strategy ... Forget about everything you understand, think is new or wonderful, or ought to take the world by storm.

Instead, watch what everybody else is doing.

Pretty soon, what they’ll be doing at The Louvre in Paris is eating at the city’s newest McDonald’s restaurant. They probably needed one because those on the nearby Rue de Rivoli and Champs Elysee are always overcrowded.


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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Falling into Fall in D. C.


It's great to be quoted in TIME magazine. Here's the article on HUGS.

Meanwhile, it's fall in the D. C. area. I can tell cuz my allergies are driving me nuts! Just moved here so I'm marveling at it all - a crisp wind, leaves falling from trees, colored leaves, pumpkin patches all over the place, and the great urge to make my homemade soup with homemade biscuits!

I am busy fixing up my D. C. Office and planning for a fall seminar on Emotional Intelligence. Let me know if you're interested!

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Job Security and Emotional Intelligence


Author says emotional intelligence is key to job security

and we agree!

To learn more about emotional intelligence, take THE EQ COURSE or sign on for some EQ coaching. You won't regret it!

Some quotes from the article:
With the United States in an ongoing unemployment crisis, two authors have offered strategies to help you keep your job.

“Fifty-eight percent of job performance is affected by emotional intelligence,” said author Travis Bradberry during a telephone interview with The Herald-Mail.

Bradberry said emotional intelligence is more than just feelings. It involves understanding and managing your emotions and the emotions of others. This has an impact on many aspects of life, including working.

“A person with the ability to understand emotions in the moment, to use that awareness to manage behavior, to read the emotions of other people and use those things to manage relationships is someone who is highly emotionally intelligent,” Bradberry said. “It’s a skill that helps you hang onto your job these days.”

“Learning about emotional intelligence teaches you to roll with the punches, understand your emotions, understand the emotions of other people and how to approach tasks more efficiently,” Bradberry said, “It arms you with the tools to navigate those situations.”

Local managers contacted for this story agreed that customer service is important in their workplaces.

Bill Sonnik, director of the Human Resources Department of Washington County said he believes individuals who display higher emotional intelligence will be more successful in the workplace.

Karen Cook, assistant manager of Gap Outlet at Prime Outlet Center, south of Hagerstown, said she is more likely to hire an employee who is more emotionally aware and can read the people around them.

She said physical cues include smiling (indicating satisfaction), crossing arms (unhappiness or concern) or squinting eyes (unhappiness or concern).

“You can’t turn an emotion on or off. All you can do is choose what to do in response to it,” he said.


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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What you Do About Being Frustrated

It isn't about being frustrated, it's what you DO when you're frustrated.
All about emotional intelligence.

A baby's crying is limbic - basic - it's designed to make us do something about it. Very, very compelling. Like other "drives" that we have.

Do you know how to handle them? If not take The EQ Course and coaching and start learning now.



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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Babies Discriminate ... What Do Parents Do?


It is not a surprise to those of us who study emotional intelligence that children learn from how we are, how we feel and what we do rather than what we say.

"Practice what you preach" is an important concept to everyone, and especially with children, who don't miss a cue.

This is from the article "See Baby Discriminate: Kids as young as 6 months judge others based on skin color. What's a parent to do?"

At this point, something interesting happened. Five families in the last group abruptly quit the study. Two directly told Vittrup, "We don't want to have these conversations with our child. We don't want to point out skin color."

Vittrup was taken aback—these families volunteered knowing full well it was a study of children's racial attitudes. Yet once they were aware that the study required talking openly about race, they started dropping out.

It was no surprise that in a liberal city like Austin, every parent was a welcoming multiculturalist, embracing diversity. But according to Vittrup's entry surveys, hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race. They might have asserted vague principles—like "Everybody's equal" or "God made all of us" or "Under the skin, we're all the same"—but they'd almost never called attention to racial differences.

They wanted their children to grow up colorblind ...

Those "discussions" with children are very important, probably primarily because they help US, the parents, to get into integrity about how we think, feel and act.

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Monitoring Your College-Aged Kid on Facebook

Don't you just love the Onion? How a Mom can keep track of her grown college-aged son in college ... on facebook.



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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to Avoid the Landmines of Thanksgiving


How to Avoid the Landmines of Thanksgiving ... including Thanksgiving Etiquette

The holidays are coming. It means festivities and joy, but it can also mean stress, anger, resentment, family dynamics you're sick of, extra work at the office, grinding travel, amped-up kids, weather problems, and, because of all this stress on your immune system, illness. What can help? Emotional intelligence and etiquette. Etiquette exists to grease the wheels of social interaction, and make the other person feel good. Here are some common dilemmas, what to say, what not to say, and why.

1. The invitation. While you may be waiting for the best offer, your hostess wants to know that she's the best offer. At the same time, you don't want to be left home alone. Sound familiar? BEST RESPONSE: "Yes we'd love to come," (yes please) or "I'm sorry we already have plans," (no thanks) or, (if shopping, have excuse ready) "We'd love to, but I can't say 'yes.' We're waiting to see if Fred's folks are coming. [sigh] You know how that is."

AVOID: "Um ... um ... I don't know. Can I let you know later?"

STRATEGY: If you are shopping for the best deal, have prepared ahead of time a plausible reason (Fred's folks) to delay a response.

2. The hostess replies to the above.

BEST RESPONSE: To 'yes' - "Glad you can come" and give details. To 'n' - "I'm so sorry. Maybe another time." To the 'waiting' - you take the lead here. If you want them to come, say "Well let me know. It's an open invitation. And if Fred's folks come, they're welcome too." If you think they're looking for a better deal and are annoyed, UNinvite them, but do it this way: "Oh, okay then. Maybe another time."

AVOID: Confrontation, as in, "What's the matter? Are you looking for a better deal?" Or losing i: "That's the last time we ever ask you over."

3. The monster-in-law. (weird uncle, abrasive sister, etc.) who picks a fight. Let's say she says, "Oh, [ha ha] I see you still can't be bothered to iron a blouse."

BEST RESPONSE: Ignore it, smile, change the subject. "It's so good to see you. How was the drive?" or "Please pass the mashed potatoes."

AVOID: Taking the bait. Do not get angry and allow yourself to get sucked in to discussing whether a blouse should be ironed, whose business it is what your wear, her mental health, your opinion of her personality, or why she feels she has to bring this up every time. (Bile and pumpkin pie don't go well together!)

4. The game. If watching the game is vitally important to you or your spouse, and you've been invited to someone's house, deal with it -- but subtly.

YOU: "Oh we'd love to come, but Tom has just GOT to see the game at 5 pm." Then your hostess can say that's not a problem, or "Oh, I'm sorry. I understand. I guess we'll have to get together another time."

AVOID: "We won't come unless Tom can watch the game." It's not your event to plan. Also you don't want to overtly suggest that the game means more than an invitation to their house (even though it does).

5. How to keep the guests from staying all day and all night.

THE INVITATION: "We'll be eating before the game, so why don't you come about X. Then it won't have to be a later evening, you know ... the kids ... it's a work night for Al ..."

AVOID: I want everyone out of my house by 7 pm.

6. How to get them to go home once they're there.

BEST TACTIC: When it's time for them to go home, give strong nonverbal signals. Appear to be restless or bored (start fidgeting or look around). Yawn. Get up from your chair and start emptying ash trays. Yawn. Start massaging your tired back. Let the conversation lag. Ask one of the guests, "Do you have to go to work tomorrow?" and glance at your watch.

AVOID: Go home! Leave!!! I worked all day, I'm exhausted, and I have to clean all this up and then go to work in the morning.

7. The parting. When you, the guest with the high EQ, sense it's time to go home, stand up, announce that you must lave, and start heading toward your coat/the door. Your hostess will then say, "Oh, please don't go," or "Must you leave so soon?"

BEST RESPONSE: Insisting you stay is a formality. Ignore it, and take your leave, Because of No. 6, and also because it's always best to leave them wanting more.

AVOID: Taking that literally - that's naive.

ALSO AVOID: Getting into a whole new conversation at the door. Talk as they escort you to your car, or whatever, then thank them again and go home.

8. The gift - should you or shouldn't you? No one's going to refuse a gift, or think ill of you for bringing one, come on! But is it required? No. But it's always welcome.

UNLESS: You bring a food or another item that "one-ups" the hostess or appears to be correcting a fault.

SUCH AS? Such as bringing a fancy gourmet pumpkin pie or (surely dear readers, none of you would do this) a lovely bathroom hand towel when she has never had anything in the guest bath besides paper guest towels).

SO WHAT'S SAFE? A bottle of wine or liqueur, a box of chocolates, or fresh flowers.

9. The cell phone.

BEST ETIQUETTE: Turn your cell phone off or leave it home. Unless you are on-call (I mean like a doctor or therapist). If you are in the position of possibly having to deal with an emergency (say your aged mother is flying to Beirut that day), say that you have this pending, and "I hope everything will be alright, but I might have to take a call." Then set it on vibrate. If it goes off, get up and go off in private to talk.

AVOID: Talking on your cell phone! Pay attention to the real people who are there. This isn't a "virtual" event.

POSSIBLE EXCEPTIONS: Very casual, all-family gatherings where those who couldn't be present call to join in.

10. The conversation. As a guest, it's your job to participate and be pleasant, keep the conversation going, and help everyone have a good time. Make them grateful that you came. You'll get an A+ if you: Smile, and if you have a list of safe and positive topics, the discussion of which makes people feel GOOD (weather, kids, Christmas plans, movies, the new shopping mall, books, travel).

You'll get an F if you: Bring up controversial, tasteless and/or upsetting topics, the discussion of which makes others feel BAD or

UNCOMFORTABLE (your surgery, your mother's ulcerative colitis, Fred's drinking, how hard it was to get there, your divorce, religion, war, politics, your love life, abortion, how depressing and stressful the holidays [your life][Aunt Mary][your work] are, how your sister can't control her kids or your father can't control his tongue, or anything about WEIGHT!. (You get the picture.)

About the Author
©Susan Dunn, MA, Dating Coach, www.susandunn.cc, mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc . Susan can help you find the partner of your dreams. Individual coaching, ebooks and Internet classes. Susan also certifies coaches worldwide, in a top-rated, fast, effective, comprehensive no-residency program. Email her for fr*e ezine.

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Halloween at the Office


If you're in Florida, in the path of a hurricane, your fears are legitimate and realistic.

Our fears can also be irrational. We recognize this when we see it in others - the child who thinks all dogs bite, or the adult who's afraid to ride in an elevator. When we have a fear like that, we know intellectually it's irrational, but we don't feel that way about it emotionally.

I'm reminded of this as Halloween comes around. My field is Emotional Intelligence (EQ), including EQ at work. I have always written before the December holidays about the emotional issues managers and CEOs must prepare for. They center around religion, which we feel strongly about, one way or another, and how to make everyone happy is a continuing challenge with our growing diversity.

Those feelings are strong, but they can't compare to the fear that generates at Halloween, which is now the second most celebrated holiday in the US.

I'm not a native Texan, and I'll never forget my first Halloween here. The town I moved to is 60% Hispanic, and there's this thing they do where they dress skeletons like a bride and groom. I found this creepy! There's a lot that goes on around Halloween that's creepy, and "creepy" is in the eyes - and minds - of the beholders.

Halloween triggers two things we don't like around an office -- (1) It's "childish," and (2) It's creepy. And each person has their own level of "creepy tolerance."

We can put up a Christmas tree in an office and get little flack, but try putting out a skull and crossbones.

Now I'm going to relate this to the hurricane that is circling around Yucatan as I write, and heading for Florida at the rate of about 5 miles an hour.

For years I refused to take a cruise because someone always invited me in September, "hurricane season." However, I've learned since then that, technically, hurricane season is half the year.

In September of 2003, I was asked to speak on a cruise, and off I went ... into the eye of Hurricane Isabelle.

We didn't know this when we embarked, we only learned about it as rumor and passengers began to get worried. Being quasi-staff, I heard the crew side of it. They weren't concerned about safety as much as extra work. They had to batten down the hatches, calm people, and cancel excursions as they diverted the ship.

Now that's a multi-million dollar ship to consider, so trust me, you're safe. You actually can't be safer than on a cruise ship. Well, I mean you're safe in Boise, Idaho, but as far as where the hurricane might be actually heading. The ship can easily, easily outrun the hurricane. If you're sitting in Key West, or Cozumel, not so. You can't move. Think about it rationally - what does it take to outrun something moving at 5 miles an hour?

In fact my friend tells me that when he was in the navy in Vietnam, they'd duck in and out of a hurricane in order to wash the ship. Five miles an hour, as you know, is very slow.

What happened is we went to Belize instead of Grand Cayman, and encountered some bumpy water and it was windy, but no one was allowed outside, and it basically just made a great story to tell. My fear of cruising during hurricane season was irrational, and when confronted by reality, dispelled. Therefore, when I hear "cruise and hurricane" my emotional reaction is not one of fear. If I were in Key West right now, I would be scared, and my heart goes out to those in the possible path.

There's no feeling that isn't accompanied by a thought, you see. When I hear "hurricane and cruise," my thoughts don't scare me. And looking at two skeleton dolls dressed like a bride and groom isn't going to hurt you, it's the thoughts you're having.

Now how would you feel about going on a cruise when there's a hurricane brewing? Typically my logical explanation and first-hand experience will have had little effect on you. Facts and words, you see, make little difference against fears. You can't reason OUT of someone, something that wasn't reasoned IN to them.

So, back to Halloween, which is fast becoming the second most celebrated holiday in the US: Get your policies in place. Maybe you have a light-hearted crew and run something like a grocery store, where you even encourage employees to dress in costume. Even then you may have to go over the rules of "common decency" (no "dominatrix" costumes!), moderate exposure, and safety.

Or maybe you're like the bank I just visited. Somehow the mortgage dept. had connected skeletons with mortgages, and mounted a promotion with skeletons of all sorts and sizes all over the bank lobby.

How you define "evil" and "satanic," I'm not sure, and you may have to deal with it on an individual basis, even correcting as they show up for the day. Basic guidelines might include:

1. Decent coverage

2. Nothing demonic, or what someone else might consider "evil"

3. Wear something safe - no masks that restrict vision, or clothing that constricts or can catch in machinery or cause you or someone else to trip

4. Get some examples from a site online of what you consider appropriate, and make a list of costumes that are "out." Then ask them to "okay" their costume ideas with you ahead of time.

5. Decorations? Individual cubbies are one thing, and there can be some latitude, but still must remain tasteful. Common areas are another thing. If you're smart, you'll assign someone you trust to "decorate," do it yourself, hire someone, or don't do it.

6. If one person complains about what another person has put up (or on), deal with it the way you deal with other such complaints. With your EQ! (See my EQ Foundation Course)

7. Put the loophole in there. Maintain the right to send anyone who dressed inappropriately "at your sole discretion."

If you work in a more conservative environment, and the only ones I can think of these days would be upscale boutiques, art galleries, certain law firms, and maybe downtown investment firms (because at my bank and at my doctor's office they now wear jeans on Saturdays, and costumes on Halloween), you'll likely centralize decorating, and stick with a fall theme.

As to addressing other's unfounded fears in general, remember that an unrealistic fear is based on a belief, and it's the belief that needs addressing. If a person is afraid to go to the holiday office party (or make a sales presentation), what are they thinking? And what gave them that idea?

As you can see, a general Emotional Intelligence program for the office can cover a vast range of problem areas. Emotional Intelligence is the interface between intellect and emotion and we help individuals and offices change their emotional lifestyles.

Would it serve you and your group, and your communal health, to rethink how you feel about things, exploring what's "realistic" and what fears are unfounded? Things like stress, diversity, cooperation, teamwork, leadership and integrity? These issues are escalating with mounting multiculturalism. One cultures "fun" is another culture's "crazy" or even "scary." Think about it. No, wait, feel about it. And let that be your guide.

Hope you get more treats than tricks!

About the Author
Susan Dunn offers coaching, internet courses, business programs, and ebooks for your personal and professional development. She trains and certifies coaches, and is the author of The Difficult People Internet course, interactive. Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc, and mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc . Email for fr** ezine.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Etiquette


Thanksgiving: Will they be glad you came?

Thanksgiving Day is coming. Will you be the guest? If so, why not brush up on your etiquette?

When you're invited give an immediate reply. Your hostess wants to know you want to be at her house, not that you're waiting for the best offer. If you decline, the polite response is "I'm sorry, we've already got plans."

If you accept, ask if you can bring something. Your hostess' response will give you a clue to the degree of formality to expect. If she says, "No, no, just bring yourself," you can expect something more formal. If she suggests a side dish, more likely casual or buffet. If the hostess doesn't volunteer, inquire about the dress code.

If you're going to have house guests at the time say, "Well, we'd love to but Alex' folks will be here." If your hostess simply cannot accommodate two more people, she can say, "Oh, I'm so sorry," and then that's that. These social amenities are designed to keep us out of trouble. Reasons can hurt feelings. Phrase it so no reason need be given. In other words, don't say, "May I bring them along?" Etiquette is about making the other person feel good. The hostess should tell you when to come, i.e., "around noon," or "2 o'clock." She may give you an idea of how long you're expected to stay by saying something like, "Come at 2 and we'll eat at 3 so you can get back home to watch the game at 5."

When you arrive, it's nice to bring a gift. Do not bring food (unless requested) and that might appear to compete with the hostess. Flowers, wine or a guest soap are safe.

From the minute you arrive, you're "on." It's the responsibility of each person to contribute to making it a festive occasion. This means come armed with a smile, a jovial attitude, and a list of conversation starters. Safe ones are the weather, plans for Christmas, where they work and what they do, movies, books, hobbies, children and recent travel.

Avoid topics that would upset people -- things that are innately controversial, such as political issues, and also a litany of your stresses or aches and pains, or even the hard time you had getting there for the afternoon because you're so busy, or the car wouldn't start or the dog got out, or your recent surgery. Leave your troubles at the door, and smile. It's a time to relax and enjoy and get away from the strife. Keep your conversation light and pleasant. In other words, focus on the things we're all grateful for.

If someone's experienced a recent loss you can allude to the fact and say "This must be a difficult time for you." Let them choose whether they want to pursue the topic or not. They may prefer to keep their mind off their loss. Avoid, on your own part, complaining, war stories, off-color jokes, anything you feel intensely about, nattering on about something that might bore others, getting drunk and inappropriate, and anger. It's a day of thanksgiving - gratitude - after all.

After you've greeted and visited a bit, ask the hostess if there's anything you can do to help. If not, continue mingling, being sure to spend some time with each guest.

If there are kids, take your turn entertaining them. When it's time to be seated, ask the hostess "Where would you like us to sit?" unless she indicates. At table, be considerate of others. If it's a big table and things are being passed, be sure the salt and pepper get passed around (they go together; they're twins). Start the side dishes several times, especially the gravy. Usually when people begin eating there's a lull in the conversation. That's a good time to say how great the stuffing is or to ask what's in the salad dressing. Special alert: at nearly every table, someone is going to be asked to say the blessing. Might it be you? I'd be prepared, if I were you. At most tables there will be one conversation.

If children are present, be sure and include them. If a really large group, talk to the people on either side of you, and across from you. Follow the hostess' lead. When everyone's through eating, look to the hostess for cues. If she starts clearing the table, join in. If she doesn't, leave everything as is.

After the meal, it's time to be thinking about going home. Watch the hostess for cues. Let's say you leave the table and are invited in to the living room to sit. If the game's on, you're expected to stay till the end. If it's not, and dessert is served, or coffee and after-dinner liqueurs and/or coffee, enjoy. If the hostess gets up and starts clearing the table and putting things away, offer to help. When that's accomplished, it's time to go home.

If no one gets up and conversation continues, watch the host and hostess for yawns, stretching, or if they let the conversation lapse. These are "get up and go" signals. I can't tell you how many calls I get from people who hosted the dinner and couldn't get anyone to go home. Remember, it's a "work night" for many people. Also your host and hostess have worked hard, and are tired.

When you figure it's time to go home, say, "Well we need to be going home now." Expect the host or hostess to protest, but it's only a formality. Say a nice good-bye with "thank yous" and "you're on your way.

It's nice to send a written thank you note in the next day or two. People really appreciate it these days because it's so rare. Remember don't overstay your welcome. It's better to leave them laughing.

Last thing to mention - if the game is a big deal for you, you'll have to deal with that. I was at one Thanksgiving feast where the television was not turned on, and there were some very unhappy gentlemen there, including the one I was with. So at least consider the possibility and if it's important to you, find out. Here's the polite way to do it: "We'd love to come, but it's really really important to George to watch the game at X:00 p.m." Your hostess can then tell you the game is included, or say how sorry she is that you can't come.

In sum, when you're going as a guest, plan to have a good time and to make a positive contribution. Then you'll be the consummate Thanksgiving guest. A relaxed, pleasant and helpful attitude can make up for any faux pas you might make, so relax and plan to enjoy yourself.

About the Author
©Susan Dunn, MA, Professional Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching, Internet courses and ebooks. Dating, emotional intelligence and career. Call when you need to, let me help you. Coach certification program, training worldwide, no residency. Mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for fr*e ezine.


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Mr. Mafioso does Emotional Intelligence

Mr. Mafioso does Emotional Intelligence.

I love Mr. Mafioso on AskMen.

"Look, college boy," he writes, "there are certain lessons that all the books in the world couldn't teach you."

Strikes a chord with me. I came out of college quite the college girl. It was a college in rural Minnesota, very academic, very intellectual. How academic? How intellectual? More students pass the MedCAT from this school than any in the nation, or did at last count. It produces doctors and lawyers, but not necessarily rich ones; more typically labor lawyers and GALs and inner-city clinic doctors, or med and law-school professors.

I think it attracts more than its share of NFs - Idealists (only 8-10% of the population). Whatever job the Idealist has, it's a means to an end: saving the world. This is the college boy Mr. M. is talking about, and the college girl who has to learn to put on her Big Girl Panties, because one can never save the world, but one can lose one's job.

When I left that ivory tower and landed my first job, they saw me coming. Determined to be honest, brave and true (and believing that others were), I got all the extra work, my "job description" expanding to match the infinite boundaries of my naivete; I got the worst equipment; I interviewed students in a closet; and of course I was ostracized just for good measure. Eating lunch alone, I read a copy of "How to Survive in the Real World." J.K.

What I did was get street smart. You know how someone in the office is doing better than they ought to considering their education, and you can't figure out why. Then you notice - she's got street smarts ... she always lands on her feet, she knows the score, she reads between the lines, she gets out when the getting's good, she can smell a rat, she knows a good thing when she sees it?

It's Emotional Intelligence; what Mr. Mafioso talks about in "Street Lessons."

He begins with the litany that all idealistic intellectuals can't accept: "The world isn't fair. It isn't nice. Nobody cares if you get stiffed, if your feelings get bruised or how hungry you are." We're all in the same boat, he alerts us, and it's a rough ride. "Everybody's trying to get a piece of the action, trying to survive. And the street is equally cruel to everyone."

I had to experience this many times before I was willing to let go of how I thought the world should be, or wished it were. Eventually I quit telling my co-workers that I really didn't know what I was doing, etc. after getting shot enough times with a gun I had loaded and handed to someone.

Mr. Mafioso then tells us the thing we least want to hear - that it's out-of-control: You can be on top one day, wondering what the big deal is, then get bagged. "By any of a number of things: family, work, health, divorce, tainted spinach--"

His rules?

1. Keep your guard up. This gels with EQ's "trust radius?" A component of Emotional Intelligence is "trust until proven otherwise." It's not seeing the "otherwise" that gets us in trouble.

2. Stay out of arguments. Wait, he says, until they've worn each other out, and you can see who the winner's going to be. As I put it in my How to Handle Difficult People course, only "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." That quote was from a book I'd read in college. Once I got it aligned with reality, I was fine. Before that, typically I rushed in because I thought I could not BE a fool; I had a college degree. LOL.

3. Meet only when necessary. Mr. Mafioso thinks only girls enjoy meeting just to talk; that Real Men meet only to make a decision. Everyone knows that ... except your boss, right? The one with the M. B. A. from Harvard.

4. Know people. But, he adds, that doesn't mean they need to know YOU. Having friends means connections, opportunities, and information, all good things; but don't disclose anything superfluous.

5. Don't be too proud to retreat. The next sentence is one that hangs up the Idealists, and is often difficult to dispel. Sometimes it's the single goal of my coaching, to get them to quit fighting on principle. If you can't win, he says, give up, back down, go into witness protection (ha ha); having a strategy beats bravery. I think he means "bravado." And "discretion is the better part of valor." Sometimes a college education IS an advantage.

Mr. Mafioso ends that it's back on the bricks for him, "learning everything the hard way and hoping my kid doesn't have to do the same. There's no cure for this thing called life, so it's best to learn certain things early on. Nothing can truly prepare you for it, but if you keep your head on a swivel, you'll suffer fewer 'unfair' surprises."

KEY POINTS here about the kid. When teaching your child emotional intelligence:

1. You're teaching it whether you want to or not, so get conscious and teach GOOD Emotional Intelligence, not BAD Emotional Intelligence. 2. You are never through learning Emotional Intelligence. Get coaching. 3. Let them learn their lessons, don't rescue them unless the house is on fire. 4. Better yet, set up the lessons so they can learn them while they're still under your protection. 5. Connect the dots for them about what you're teaching.

Don't forget to do this; it's the part most parents leave out. Like most of us ask our kids, "How would you feel if Bobby did that to you?" and "How do you think Bobby feels now that you spit on him?" But we fail to tell them we are teaching Empathy - understanding that you have feelings and so does everyone else. Labeling helps to de-mystify the things that mystify us most in life - emotional things.

Tell them you are going to teach them stewardship, give them 3 months allowance at one time, tell them it has to last, and then be there when they spend it all at once and have nothing left. Connect the dots for them, giving it language. It's easier to learn this when you have a net.

Now, back to my NF client that I'm coaching in Emotional Intelligence.

"I can't do that," she says, "it's against my principles." She is preparing to self-sabotage...again.

"Look, college girl," I tell her. "Just put on your Big Girl Panties," aka stress tolerance, creativity, flexibility, resilience, interpersonal skills and the other components of Emotional Intelligence.

It keeps your head on a swivel.



About the Author
©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc, mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc . Individual coaching, business programs, employer-referred coaching, anger management, emotional intelligence, relationships, career. Internet courses, and ebooks. Training and certification program. Fast, affordable, on-site and long-distance.


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dangers of Txting and Driving

The UK doesn't pull any punches on this PSA about cell phone usage in cars. And I apologize that this is under "Funny Videos."


Don't Text and Drive - Watch more Funny Videos

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Canada doesn't mess around with its Domestic Abuse PSAs

Canada doesn't mess around with its Domestic Abuse PSAs


Canadian Domestic Abuse PSA - Watch more Funny Videos

The holidays are coming and its time, perhaps, for my Difficult People course. It's on the Internet, interactive, fast, effective and affordable. Email me for information. Internet special - $29.99. Paypal me or personal check. sdunn@susandunn.cc .

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Babyboomers fastest-growing demo on facebook

What's the fastest-growing demo on facebook? Babyboomers (55 and over). DC, then Chicago, were biggest cities.

From the article:

Researcher iStrategyLabs just released new numbers on Facebook user demographics, and one figure stands out: the number of members who are 55 and older grew 25% in the last month alone. The segment more than tripled the overall rate of growth for U.S. users on the site in the month ending August 4, which was 8%.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What to do after you fight

The people we love the most are often the people with whom we have the worst fights. Here's a sweet song about making up and moving on ...

Come a little closer baby ... on a bed of sweet surrender where we can work it out...
Dierks Bentley's "Come a Little Closer".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP5M2ZRinU8

It's about getting the egos out of it and making up. "I feel like stripping it down." This song is all about the different emotional levels, communication, getting in that loving place and staying there.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

If you don't think you're beautiful enough

A couple of years ago I had a super model in my coach certification program. She wanted to become a coach so she could tell young girls about this. It was wonderful to get this woman certified as a coach so she could extend her reach and fulfill her mission. Now she works with teenagers and young women.



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